Japanese alt-rock band BO NINGEN are proud to announce details of BO NINGEN: Rebuilt, a very special reissue of their 2010 self-titled debut album set for release via Alcopop! Records on 28th May 2021.
The record will be released for the first time on vinyl in a double ruby red limited edition press, and is available to preorder now.
To celebrate the news, the band have released a visceral new archive video for album opener 4 Seconds To Ascension, which is out now on all good DSPs.
Directed by Rohan Thomas, the found footage used in the video was filmed at London venues CAMP and The Underworld circa 2011 by Rohan Thomas, Khalid El-Awad, and Reuben Sutherland.
Spliced with further footage collected by Thomas, it makes for an arresting portrait of the intense live atmosphere of an early BO NINGEN show—something the band have since become notorious for over the years.
Intent on avoiding the cliched lazy reissue tropes of new packaging, remasters, or retakes, for this new version of the album the band decided to completely reinvent the record. During the course of BO NINGEN: Rebuilt, it’s even possible to chart how bass player and producer Taigen Kawabe’s own musical ear and production approach has changed over the decade.
“We wanted to completely ‘rebuild’ our own debut album,” says Kawabe of the process, “using exactly the same material and sounds without any additional overdubs or new takes; remixing the record with new interpretations and perception. We simply wanted to listen again to our first album with fresh ears and minds, and even learn something new from it ourselves.”
“I’m a huge fan of This Heat,” adds guitarist Kohhei Matsuda, “so I wanted to make something with studio manipulation of material as an homage to them. It wasn’t so obvious on the original version, but having remixes by ENA and Merzbow on the new version of the album made the context more complex and my primal ambition has finally been realised, with new mixes and mastering bringing clarity to the ideas behind the songs. The whole album now has multiple layers of time.”
“When we started the band in London we didn’t know what kind of music we wanted to make,” he continues. “We were being urged by the impulse—the pure joy of loud noise, feeling frustrated at audiences for speaking so loud at shows, and feeling like misfits amongst all the ‘indie’ bands. If you compare this first album with the pre-album recordings from Proto Bo Ningen (part of the band’s recent A Found History series of archive releases) you’ll see how we were trying to form a song.”
Rehearsing at Enterprise Studio behind London’s famous musical hotspot of Denmark Street, the band took advantage of a 7 hour daytime deal to maximise their jam time in the studio whilst writing the record. “It was like songs were forming themselves,” recalls Matsuda. “One of the epic moments was when we made the bass guitar in-out arrangement on Koroshitai Kimochi. We thought that was a big invention! Like dub engineers’ bass handling.”
Recorded in 2010 at No Recording Studio with engineer John Hannon (known for recording quality avant garde artists including Helm, Chrome Hoof, and Drum Eyes), the band stayed at the residential studio for several days on a farm in Rayleigh, Essex.
“It was really nice being out of the town and totally secluded,” remembers Matsuda. “It was like camping in the woods. We’d just record, eat, record, eat, sleep. John was really nice and easy to work with. He’d play us some early Swans stuff, early Chrome, and his band Liberez, which was really cool. I remember John had an amazing sounding vintage Tone Bender fuzz pedal and I used it for the recording – authentic British fuzz guitar, in a way.”
Most recently, BO NINGEN announced their signing to Alcopop! Records for their fourth studio album Sudden Fictions in 2020.
The band will be touring the UK in October 2021 on a run of rescheduled live dates in support of the album, with tickets on sale now. The band will now perform at Record Junkee in Sheffield on October 7th 2021.
BO NINGEN: Rebuilt is released 28th May 2021 via Alcopop! Records